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BOAZ, Alabama (WHNT) – This story will amaze you. We hear quite often about the various scams that are out there. Well this one goes above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen. It was a special Agir investigation that caught the attention of U.S. postal inspectors and even the FBI.
A woman from Boaz first brought this to our attention. She wanted us to warn people that not all homework is legitimate. We began to examine it and discovered a web of deception stretching across the country, leaving a trail of victims in its wake.
Our first victim didn’t want to be identified here, so for the sake of the story, we’ll call her Jane. She had gone online to look for a job and found what seemed like the perfect fit. The company, PackAnyWere, had a strong online presence and hired her as a logistics coordinator.
Yes, that’s the name, and “anywhere” is indeed misspelled. We will come back to this a little later.
“It seemed perfect. I could work from home and the money wasn’t bad either, ”explained Jane.
The company provided her with an employment contract, tax forms, and within days she began receiving parcels in the mail. His job was to open, inspect and inventory the packages, then ship the merchandise to an address provided by the company.
“All kinds of stuff, computers, iPhones, even hunting supplies,” Jane explained when asked about the merchandise she was receiving.
Jane was to be paid by direct deposit. After about a month and about a dozen shipments she had processed, the company made a deposit to her account, of about $ 28,000. Fortunately for her, the bank was careful. Never before has his account seen such a large deposit, and they verified it.
“We verified that these funds were fraudulent and that they had been deposited into our member’s account,” says Daniel Friend, security specialist at Family Security Credit Union.
The bank immediately called Jane to let her know something was going on, and she called the company. She says they told her it was an accounting error and that they had just sent the rest of the money to their associates in Romania. If the bank hadn’t warned her, she might have been forced to pay back every penny.
“They will take advantage of anyone. Housewives, students, the elderly, especially the elderly. Anyone who wants to try to make a quick buck will find a way to rip you off with your money, ”Friend explained.
We contacted the US postal inspectors and they sent an agent to Huntsville to tell us about the matter. Tony Robinson says Jane was the victim of a forwarding scam.
“There is nothing that I know of that is a legitimate forwarder like in ‘hey we’ll send you packages to ship to someone else’,” Robinson told WHNT News 19. He says the company to all victims on the state. In fact, he showed us a stack of packages that one of them handled in just a week. The merchandise in these packages, as you may have guessed, has been stolen.
“I checked my bank account and had two debits that weren’t made by me,” said Arlene Smith, who lives in Guntersville. Smith has no idea how and when his debit card information was stolen. But her card was used to order some of the merchandise shipped to Jane online, only to be sent back to a thief.
“I’m sorry for everyone involved who was an innocent person because, I mean, it can devastate lives,” Arlene told us.
“These types of scammers usually prey on people who aren’t very sophisticated, could use a little extra cash, and they wrap their poisoned apple, if you will, in a package that looks attractive and makes it easy.” to do for people. money. And that’s the catch, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, ”Robinson warned.
WHNT News 19 has repeatedly tried to contact someone from PackAnyWere, but all of the issues we have found are inactive. Investigators tell us that the thieves have probably moved on and settled down under a new name, a new website, a new set of phone numbers. We can tell you that the United States Postal Inspector’s Office and now the FBI are actively investigating the matter.
So how could they fool so many people? Jane told us that she thought she had found the perfect home job, but it turns out she was lured into an international thief ring and scammed.
Everything seemed perfectly legitimate at first. The company had an extensive online presence, there was an employment contract, tax forms and the offer of a decent income. But none of it was real. It was all a carefully concealed and well-prepared hoax designed to lure unsuspecting people to help steal from others.
The name of the company alone should have been a red flag. Pack everything was? It’s misspelled.
“Yeah, but I didn’t want to tell them about it because I didn’t want to ruin the opportunity,” Jane told us. “I mean, I checked their website and everything. It really almost sounded too good to be true.
“And that’s the catch, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Robinson explained. He is well aware of this scam. In fact, Robinson says the company has casualties statewide and in many parts of the country. Like Jane, they were hired to receive and reship packages, and like Jane, they had no idea that the merchandise inside those packages had been stolen.
“Well, the power of a real good, of a crook who’s really good at what he does, is to pretend to be legitimate. I have gone out to talk to people who are responding to these scammers and are actually shipping goods elsewhere and they will take away the contract that the crooks sent them to sign.
Jane showed us the contract she was asked to sign. The company’s website she went to is packanywere.com. It’s a sprawling site with over a dozen pages that makes the company look pretty legitimate with its warehouses, delivery trucks, and many friendly, smiling employees, all of whom appear to be wearing different uniforms. In fact, on a guy’s uniform the logo was blurred. And if you notice it, the company logo doesn’t appear on any of their vehicles. In fact, if you look very closely, you will see that the vehicles have European car labels.
And then there’s the address, Dutch Neck Road in Middletown, Delaware. We also checked this out and borrowed an image from Google Street View to show you what’s really there. It is an abandoned farm surrounded by trees. We have spoken with the Delaware Highway Patrol in this area and they confirm that there is no warehouse or shipping company in this area, and no such company anywhere in the area. It just doesn’t exist.
“If we could train people to recognize when the scam goes past them and not to bite, these scammers would move on because they are only going to stay there as long as they are making money,” Robinson explained. .
We have tracked some of the packages that Jane has shipped. Some went to a mailbox in Brooklyn, New York. They acted like they didn’t know what we were talking about despite having records that this is where the packages went. Others were delivered to a freight company called Ukraine Express, and they did not hesitate to do so, these packages went to Russia.
On Saturday we were contacted by another victim of what could be another reshipment scam. She had just shipped her first package when she saw the promo for this story. It only took a few minutes to verify that the group that hired her, Package Planet, is as bogus as that pack of PackAnyWere thieves. We alerted the post office inspectors so they could intercept the package she sent, and like other packages on their way to her house, well, they won’t go to Russia!
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